I’m away from home for a few days visiting one of the very few business schools committed entirely to creating MBA’s with sustainability as their core learning. Bainbridge Graduate Institute is now in its fifth year. I’ve been working with them from their start with a few years off. But I am back here during one of their weekend intensives. The program is based largely on distance learning plus a set of face-to-face weekends.
I am here to talk about sustainability in general and pair with my colleague, Tom Johnson, to teach a couple sessions of their sustainable operations course. I met Tom here some years ago and have learned much about Toyota and what makes it different from almost all other companies. Tom has written extensively about Toyota and its implications for management.
I am always moved by the commitment and energy of the students at BGI. BGI is certainly not coming from the same place as business schools in general. The curriculum has been honed to give them a basic education in the same business principles they might pick up at any other MBA program, and also to give them an alternate model that fits both their aspirations and, from my point of view, what kind of business will work in a world where sustainability is the primary vision.
Anyone who wants to understand what greening the campus and the curriculum really means should take a long hard look at BGI. It’s not a place for everyone, but everyone can learn from it. The photo is from Islandwood, the nature learning facility, where their intensive weekends are held. Having the environment as part of one’s classroom emphasizes and make real so much of what we teach and learn in our high-tech, often windowless classrooms,

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